Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Buff my M10 Armor

Author: Vollketten




This isn't a long article (but it is my first for Rita!) because it's rather self-explanatory. You should be (assuming you have played WoT occasionally) familiar with the M10 Tank Destroyer in either the British or American tech trees.

If you have played it, you may even have noticed the rather flimsy armor and the ‘studs’ or ‘bosses’ dotted around the hull and turret and wondered what they were for.


Well, if you didn’t know, they are actually used to attach appliqué armour. In this case, a stand-off armour plate acting as a spaced layer of armour intended to cover the turret sides, hull sides and hull front.

S,o when WG models tanks, it - usually/sometimes/when possible - measures the actual surviving vehicles.
Today, there appears to be only a single example of the M10 left anywhere with this spaced armour and it is this one on public display at Veckring near Le Hackenberg. The side armour is complete on the left hand side and missing a piece at the front on the right. Even then, the side armour could well just be re-fabricated post war. This particular vehicle has undergone restoration and repainting as at some point in its life it used to be known as ‘Rose Coombs’






So, we need a better idea of how thick these panels need to look like - and here it is in the original Patent design from May 1943:



Knowing the thickness of the side hull (19mm) and extrapolating from there, we come to the appliqué plate a little thinner (of about 12.7mm) with a gap of about 20mm between the plate and the main armor. In other words, the M10 could actually gain some real protection across its sides and front from smaller rounds and cannon shells. The effect of the armor against larger AP shells would be negligible.

It’s worth noting that Fig.3 of the Patent armour plan is wrong with the shell actually ‘turning’ the wrong way after penetrating the armour.

Either way, every source I can find says that this armour was never issued or fitted and indeed armouring up your M10 wouldn’t fit with the idea of US Tank Destroyers at the time.

Late production vehicles dispensed with these studs altogether. Despite this, there is photographic evidence of these studs being used by M10 crews from the US and UK.

This is the crew of an M10 Achilles being spoken to the Major-General Barber near the town of Goch 20th February 1945.

Photo credit: Imperial War Museum



The front plate here covers a relatively small section in the centre of the glacis, but appliqué armour is also visible on the hull and turret sides.


In this example, two US M10 ‘s in Dreiborn, Germany (February 1945) are fitted not only with a substantial front plate, but also additional welded armour sections over the front final drive housings.


This rather poor shot is copied from Colliers Photographic History of WW2 (1946), but I cannot locate a copy from which to obtain a better image at the moment. It was taken in the town of Mainz in March 1945 and lacks those angular final drive boxes, but also has an obvious and prominent front armoured plate added to the hull. Sadly, the image is too poor to tell if the armour extends to the turret and hull sides as well.

There’s also a reference to a photograph of a captured uparmoured M10 Achilles in ‘German Tanks of WW2’ by Hobby Japan on  page105, but I have also been unable to get hold of that yet either.

I am aware that there were tests of other protection increase systems for the M10 in the form of armoured covers over the open-topped turret, but these are beyond the scope of this short piece.

So, there we have it: we have plans for the uparmouring, we have photographic evidence of the uparmouring being done and we have the need to make armour actually more useful and valuable in game. Maybe WG will put it in by introducing an uparmoured M10 as a premium with worse mobility (it's a got a lot more weight to haul around afterall) or one day we get those optional hulls we keep hearing about.

And if you happen to have either of those other image sources I mentioned, please feel free to post link or pm me on the NA WoT forums.

Sources:
Imperial War Museum
Additional Armor by William Auerbach
http://www.clvma.fr/15novembre2014.html
AFV News Vol.24
http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums

26 comments:

  1. Considering I managed to get a Steel Wall with M10 anyway, I don't think it's a necessary thing. But as an optional design (for the price of decreased mobility) it might be nice.

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    1. The current US m10 has to much armor. Check the British archilles, this is how it should be.

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    2. One of the Q&As in the later days on FTR was about that difference in armor between both M10s. It was answered that Wolverine was wrong and would be nerfed when made HD. So it is still an option for both.

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  2. Nice and informative article, Vollketten. Let's hope your wish is granted.

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  3. I think Achilles would benefit from armour upgrade.

    US line get armour upgrade from tier 5 to tier 6. Meanwhile Brits at tier 6 get tier 5 M10 hull with even thinner frontal armour.

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  4. Certainly would make in interesting candidate for hull replacement, trading mobility for more armor protection. I hope things like that will be considered, rather than just straight upgrades.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Nah, leave it as it is. Lots of armoured vehicles had extra plates added on later, so if the M10 gets it, then they'd all need to get it.

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  8. I live not so far from Veckring, so I could do some photos of the M10 if wanted.
    Also, I visited the Ouvrage Hackenberg, but it was a long time ago.

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    1. Hello sir!
      Please do, it would be awesome if you could measure the thickness or the armor and send the fotos and info to my email. Can direct them to Volketten. :)

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  9. They need to give tanks like the Pz.Kpfw. IV Schmalturm actual proper spaced armour in the model first.

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  10. Achilles vs m10 ingame has some armor differences according to tank inspector (sideskirt, frontarmor, above gun mantle.
    Comparing the model, the acilles has a bigger box where the transmitor is located in the front closer to the tracks..

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    1. And top hull armor is different too.

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    2. Is there anyway to edit my own comments?

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    3. Unfortunately not as far as I know, did checked for that. :/

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    4. That's because the M10 is modeled incorrectly with the wrong armor.

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  11. Good Job! thx for posting and for all the leg-work you put in to the research. Cheers, Mate! :)

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  12. A very nice and well-written article, grats!

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  13. >It’s worth noting that Fig.3 of the Patent armour plan is wrong with the shell actually ‘turning’ the wrong way after penetrating the armour.

    That's not how normalization works in the game but (and sadly I forgot the source but it should be somewhere on FTR) it DOES work like that IRL. If you want to be sure, this might be an interesting idea to delve deeper into for an article.

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  14. Avery interesting and informitive read thankyou.

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  15. It'll probably never happen, because WG seems hesitant to ever give a US tank reasonable hull armor, but I'd love it if they did.

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  16. Oh, Veckring isnt that far away, I even go play airsoft there from time to time. Next time, Ill go check that M10 out :)

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  17. M10 is like a slower but nicer-looking Sherman. especially when you fit in the amazingly accurate 105mm derp. i use to wreck EU nubscrubs with it, though nowadays i prefer the M36 and Jumbo

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  18. thicker armour on the hull doesn't increase its protection, It can only bounce from its mantlet anyway

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